On the 26th and 27th of March, the city of Tunis (Tunisia) held the SDG 16+ Technical Consultation on Inclusive Institutions at the Local Level, which gathered over 85 representatives of local, regional and national governments, civil society, private sector and international organizations from the Arab States region and beyond.
This consultation, organized by the Government of Tunisia, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Global Alliance for reporting on progress on peaceful, just and inclusive societies and United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), focused on gathering experiences, best practices and solutions to problems and challenges in the implementation of SDG16 on the ground, aiming specifically at defining how to further inclusive multi-stakeholder participation in planning, delivering, measuring and reporting on SDG16 at the local level.
The Consultation, which was divided in six thematic workshop sessions comprising panel presentations, discussions and roundtable discussions, was the fourth technical consultation on SDG+16 to date and aimed to advance the dialogue and reflection on this particular goal in preparation of 2019 the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), which will review, under the theme ‘Empowering People and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality’, SDG 16 among other goals. Looking forward to the HLPF, the SDG 16+ Technical Consultation held in Tunis provided the occasion to share perspectives, experiences and knowledge, and advance the reflection on how to promote and better understand the importance of SDG16 as an enabler of the whole Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
During the two days consultation, participants had the chance to make their voice heard and reflect upon the challenges of developing SDG16-related reforms. With regards to the key areas of agreement, throughout the consultation, participants stressed the importance of the local and regional levels in the implementation of the SDG16 which, additionally, was recognized as a key universal SDG that has a facilitating or enabling capacity towards sustaining efforts in achieving other SDGs enclosed in the 2030 Agenda. Therefore, policies aimed towards localizing SDG16 efforts, despite the challenges they entail, are fundamental to provide services and defend human rights that should be noticeable for all individuals, wherever they may live, ensuring nobody is left behind.
To this end, the consultation helped to foster consensus on the need of designing tailored policies in line with local contexts and priorities. A culture of peace, which is based on the promotion of mediation and non-discriminatory policies, is needed to develop innovative efforts which can aid in improving information sharing, communication, participation and data collection for monitoring, reporting and continuous improvement of policies and strategies with which to advance SDG16 goals.
The 2019 Tunis SDG 16+ Technical Consultation gave the opportunity to many different stakeholders to pool past experiences, best practices and perspectives on SDG16 helping to lay solid foundations for the HLPF. This knowledge, however, will also prove essential for future technical consultations that will be held as of this year in Panama City (April 2019) and Sarajevo (May 2019) which will cover topics such as Justice, Peace, Inclusion, Human Rights and Democracy.
The technical consultation is now continuing online on the SDG16 portal, where a specific survey has been launched to continue the discussion on inclusive institutions on this page.
The SDG 16 Hub (hyperlink to www.sdg16hub.org) is a one-stop shop for knowledge and collaboration on SDG 16. It is a space for learning about the key pillars of Goal 16, sharing knowledge, and exchanging experiences through e-discussions. The Hub includes a database of resources on SDG16 directed to various groups of stakeholders.
For more information on SDG16, the 2019 HLPF, and past and upcoming technical consultations, click here to access the SDG 16 Hub.